The Conservatives may be about to lose their second special adviser in five months. With David Cameron receiving a formal dressing down from Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell over negative briefings from Tory aides, Caroline Flint has written to O’Donnell probing the identity of the source of smears from within Eric Pickles’ department:
Reports in PR Week today suggest you wrote to the Prime Minister last year expressing concerns about the briefings and requested that action was taken against those responsible.
I believe this is a very serious allegation and warrants greater transparency, so I would be grateful if you could clarify the following points:
• Have you or DCLG launched any internal investigation into the identity of the source? If not, are there any plans to do so?
• Has any internal disciplinary action been taken against the person or persons responsible for these comments?
In November Eric Pickles said that “the sunlight of openness may be uncomfortable for some”.
It looks like certain SpAds will be needing their factor 50.